Academics across the European Union have issued a damning review of the state of the project, warning top Eurocrats their pursuit of further integration is fuelling growing dissent among EU voters. As Italy descends towards the brink of recession threatening the stability of a fragile eurozone, eastern European countries have been increasingly voicing their dissent towards the plans for the future of the European project and demanded control over matters of national concern be returned to them. With Brexit on the horizon, experts in EU policy have warned the bloc changes will have to be made to the inner structure of the European Union machine to save it from total collapse.
The EU you see today is going to be a very different one in 10 years time
Craig McKinley MP, a staunch supporter of the Brexit campaign, suggested the "quasi-religious" regard the European Commission and its boss Jean-Claude Juncker have for the European treaties could be a driving force of dissent among EU member states craving more independence.
Speaking to Express.co.uk last year, Mr McKinley said: "The Commission is the guardian of the treaties, it has almost become a quasi-religion for them, ‘how dare any country even want to leave?’ The EU has got some significant problems.
"You’ve got a parliamentary election next year on the backdrop of an increasing number of the countries that are concerned about the direction of travel. There’s certainly Italy, one of the big four, that has had a complete change of Government recently. Greece is obviously desperately unhappy with the situation it finds itself in.
"If it doesn’t change quickly and reflect what people are saying, I think it’s got real difficulties in the future. The EU you see today is going to be a very different one in 10 years time."
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EU news: Academics across the continent have warned Brussels failure to change may lead to collapse (Image: GETTY)
European Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker used penultimate State of the Union speech in 2017 to urge member states to accept proposals for increased cooperation with Brussels in the future – suggesting the bloc should agree to elect a common Finance minister to manage the eurozone.
In addition to Brexit negotiations, the European Union has been juggling with increased pressure from Hungary, Poland and Italy to stop interfering with national policies.
But unexpected actors have been slowly joining forces to mitigate attempts at further integration – especially economic – proposed by the echelons of the bloc and key member states such as France.
EU expert Rem Korteweg said: "I think this very clearly, particularly in one specific area, which is the Northern European creditor area.
"The Netherlands, along with seven other smaller eurozone and non-eurozone members have been quite vocal in terms of pushing back against Commission and French ideas to further integrate the eurozone.
"This group of eight countries goes by the name of the Hanseatic League